When it comes to accomplished college wrestlers, Missouri’s J’den Cox should be bronzed and inducted into the College Wrestling Hall of Fame. Not only is the senior a two-time NCAA champion, he’s also fresh off winning the bronze medal in the 86 kilogram weight division at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
So what do you do when you’ve won almost everything there is to win in college wrestling? Move over to football, of course.
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During a ceremony to welcome him back from the Olympics, Cox told an adoring crowd that he wanted to suit up with Mizzou’s football team for the 2017 season. Cox, who started at both running back and linebacker for Hickman High School in Missouri and was named All-State First Team Defense as a senior, would have one year of football eligibility left if he decides to play for Mizzou next season, and he has made it known more than once that he’s seriously considering making the switch.
“A number of months ago, he stopped me in the weight room,” head coach Barry Odom told The Kansas City Star. “He was working out like he always does, and I was walking through the weight room, thinking about working out but not doing it. He pulled me over to the side and said, ‘Hey, I just really want to play football.'”
Whether he thinks he can really play or is just afraid of being choked out, Odom seems pretty open to adding Cox to his roster. He said, “You look worldwide, he’s got to be one of the best competitors in the world. How can you not like that? He’s an unbelievable kid and an ambassador for the university, the athletic department, the state of Missouri and our country. We’ll continue to talk and kind of see where it goes.”
After giving up 26 points in a loss to West Virginia last weekend, Mizzou may want to search for a loophole to get Cox suited up as soon as possible.